(BIVN) – On Thursday, the state Land Use Commission met in Hilo to consider a petition concerning the land use in the Astronomy Precinct atop Mauna Kea.
Petitioners Kuʻulei Higashi Kanahele and Ahiena Kanahele are seeking a Declaratory Order from the commission “concerning the invalid classification of the de facto and improper industrial use precinct on approximately 525 acres of State Land Use Conservation District lands” located on Mauna Kea.
The University of Hawaiʻi currently manages the mountain summit under a lease from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The land is designated as a conservation district. The Thirty Meter Telescope, for example, obtained a Conservation District Use permit to build on Mauna Kea, although opponents of the project have prevented TMT crews from starting construction.
Most of the testifiers who spoke in support of the petition on Thursday are kiaʻi who have been involved in the stand against the observatory. One of them was Donna Leong, a kupuna who was arrested on the Mauna Kea Access Road on July 17.
Dexter and Manu Kaiama also spoke in favor of the petition (video above). The commissioners had some questions for Kaiama after his testimony.
Deborah Ward, chair of the Hawaiʻi Island Sierra Club, also testified in support of the petition.
Big Island Video News will be updating this page with more public testimony from Thursday’s meeting.